|In regards to your October column, Drones vs. Model Airplanes, I can’t agree with you more. The advances in electronics and miniaturization in the modeling industry represent a paradigm shift on how we will be operating remote controlled vehicles from now on.
While some people view the FAA evaluation of remote controlled airplanes or sUAS operations as a threat to the hobby, I have argued that we should take this opportunity to expand our scope of operations into larger, fastest and farther flying aircrafts. We are all witnesses to the birth of a new class of remote controlled vehicles. We can’t ignore this and we can’t miss the opportunity. I hope AMA jump in with both feet into this emerging arena and develop guidance to allow operation of sUAS in harmony with FAA regulations.
I can visualize two classes of remote controlled airplanes. The standard hand (radio) operated model flying at low altitude within line of sight of the pilot for a few minutes at a time, and an advanced class incorporating more automation, on board cameras, sensors and telemetry. This advanced class will comply with FAA requirements under the experimental certificate and operating limitations but still covered by AMA.
Just like in the experimental aviation community, I hope the FAA and industry reach a consensus that can be beneficial to both parties.
Small UAS operations are here to stay. I hope the Academy is visionary enough to realize the huge economic and technological potential this emerging industry will have on years to come.
|“I’ve been concerned with the tone of the discussion about the forthcoming rules from the FAA. We tend to paint the government agency as the bad guy at best to an out and out evil genius villain at worst. As Rich Hanson pointed out in his update in the October 2011 Issue the government is working to try to deal with a new and growing area of aviation that hasn’t existed before. Without government regulation anyone that has any R/C interest would be putting their safety and the safety of everyone around them on the line; because without FCC regulation who knows when you’d get shot down and by what. I’m very grateful that the AMA has capable and knowledgeable people working with the government to help preserve the sport/hobby as close to what we are doing today as possible.”